611.6131/621: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt)

866. For your information, the Soviet Embassy has not approached the Department with respect to the possible renewal of our commercial agreement with the Soviet Union. In the event you are approached by the responsible Soviet officials, you are authorized to state that although your Government feels that under present circumstances the agreement has little or no economic meaning, it would be willing to renew the 1937 commercial agreement, without any accompanying related notes, for an indefinite period not in excess of one year, subject to termination by either party at any time on 30 days’ written notice. You should point out that the exchange of notes continuing in force the agreement of 1937 would be proclaimed by the President; that it is believed that the Treasury Department would continue the treatment of imports of Soviet coal specified in the accompanying note of August 6, 1940 (however, this is subject to confirmation by the appropriate authorities); that if imports of Soviet coal should approach the figure of 400,000 tons mentioned in the present Soviet note limiting exports of coal to the United States this Government would feel free to consult with the Soviet Government with a view to arriving at a satisfactory adjustment of the matter; and that under present circumstances this Government is willing to rely upon the general commitment in the 1937 agreement by the Soviet Government to increase substantially the amount of its purchases in the United States.